For the record, I’m writing this under duress. I’m not even sure what I’m about to say is true. In truth, I’m a bit of a hypochondriac and I’m sure that what I’ve been experiencing is a combination of the 25 pounds I need to lose and the mugginess of summer.
If it’s not, well, there’s just one thing to say.
Hot flashes suck.
I started to notice the sensation about two or three months ago at various points in the day, but never without a plausible explanation: the ones that come as I get ready in the morning are due to the high-wattage vanity lights in the bathroom; those that happen late afternoon are usually after I take the dogs out; and some that happen at work are generally when I get “that 2:30 feeling” of drowsiness (regardless of the time) and as I start to snap out of it I’m usually flush.
Then I noticed I started getting them at times when there wasn’t much of an explanation: when I was sitting on the sofa watching television, standing in the kitchen making supper, sitting wide-eyed and at full alert during a meeting at work.
It was during one of those meetings (I’m not always wide-eyed, but was at that one) that the realization was shoved at me. Literally.
Our regular weekly meeting is held in a conference room known for its chilled environment. We all generally bring sweaters or prepare ourselves with hot coffee before going in. This particular day a few weeks ago, I didn’t get cold. In fact, I started to feel sweat beading up around my scalp and along my hairline, my cheeks started to heat up and suddenly I was HOT.
I turned to a co-worker, as I was wiping my brow, and commented about how warm the typically cool room was that day.
Co-worker: It’s not warm. I’m cold.
Me: Are you kidding? I’m sweating!
Co-worker: I see that. Why are you so hot?
Me: I don’t know!
Co-worker (with that “a-HA!” look in her eyes): Ooohhhhh, how old are you? You might be flashing.
I was devastated. Crushed. Pissed off.
I’m too young for this, right? I just turned 44, and the 40s are the new 30s, and 30 is much too young to be perimenopausal. Right? Right??
Apparently not. Now I’m noticing them all the time – when playing cards with friends the other night I had to pull my hair up because I was getting so hot, while sitting in the office, even laying in bed on the brink of sleep. I was all nice and cozy, just getting ready to drift when suddenly the blankets became unbearably hot and I started kicking – seriously – to get them off.
This is going to be a loooooong preview phase.